Davide Fasolini’s energy is palpable.
Tall with ginger hair, a beard, and glasses that seem held up by the ends of his smile, you can feel his energy, excitement, and passion as he waits to tell you about his wines. His smile and energy are contagious.
He is one-half of the founders of Dirupi. He and his partner Pierpaolo Di Franco were childhood friends who met again as they finished university with degrees in enology.
They did not have family vineyards or land, so they rented 15 terraced sites in Valtellina and founded the company in 2004. Some of the vineyards they found were old and neglected plots that they needed to restore or replant.
Their goal was to farm organically, something that can be difficult with any amount of humidity. They were determined and achieved certification in 2015 for three of their wines. This is a dry region, but they do have summer rain which leaves them with the potential for mildew. They are working with the university on a system with essential oil to help. They also use “argile” (clay) to collect moisture and prevent powdery mildew.
We visited Valtellina as part of a Media trip with the 2022 Wine Media Conference, spending 2 days immersed in the region and its wines.
This tasting was sponsored by the Consorzio di Tutela dei Vini di Valtellina.
As we tasted the wines, Davide wanted me to know more about the sub-region the vineyards were in. The altitude, he said, was very important. Vineyards range between 270 and 700 meters above sea level, and the altitude is important in keeping the freshness in the wine.
On their website, each tech sheet has a sketch of the vineyard blocks on the terraces indicating their altitude. In early November, they will have 10 different tanks from 20 different vineyards in their cellar, each different and amazing in its own way. You could tell he couldn’t wait!
Dirupi Valtellina Superiore DOCG 2018
The first wine he poured was their Valtellina Superiore DOCG 2018. Harvested from 10 different vineyards that sit between 450 and 600 meters, the altitude gives them the perfect maturation of seeds and skin. This gives them the ability to have a longer maceration to pull the tannins from the seeds, which are their natural antioxidants preserving the freshness in these wines.
The idea is to balance the alcohol and the tannins to keep the freshness of the wine. 10 days of maceration gives you the maximum freshness in alcohol, and then the freshness begins to drop. Meanwhile, the tannins are slowly rising. You try to get these two to meet at just the right moment to create the freshest wines. This freshness is how he feels you taste the alps in the wines of Valtellina.
This wine comes from Poggiridenti, a commune near Sondrio. It spends 1 year in 2000 hectoliter French oak casks.
Dirupi Gèss Valtellina Superiore DOCG Grumello 2018
The Gèss Valtellina Superiore DOCG Grumello 2018 comes from Vigna Gèss in the western part of Grumello, where there is a lot of granitic soil. The vineyard here is between 455 and 550 meters. This wine spends 2 years in 500-liter French oak Tonneau. At 13.5% abv, I noted that this wine had more spice, tannins, and savory notes than the previous wine.
Dirupi Riserva Dossi Salati Valtellina Superiore DOCG Grumello 2018
The next wine was also from Grumello. This was their Riserva Dossi Salati Valtellina Superiore DOCG Grumello 2018. This is 200 meters east of the Gèss Vineyard but 50 meters higher, ranging between 530 and 570 meters. Dossi Salati is the traditional name of the vineyard which translates to “salty bumps.” This single vineyard juice is kept in a single 2100-liter cask.
Davide loves working with this vineyard. He feels it gives you the identity and elegance of Valtellina with round tannins that will keep this wine fresh for many years.
I noted that this wine felt bright and vibrant compared to the deeper and more savory Gèss vineyard wine.
Dirupi Vino Sbagliato Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG 2018
Finally, we tasted their Vino Sbagliato Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG 2018. This comes from the Chioso Vineyard in Treviso which sits at 600 meters. This is their highest vineyard. They get freshness and acidity from the altitude and then power in the wine as the grapes dry in the appassimento style.
Today, all of their vineyards have been certified organic, and they produce about 35,000 bottles each year. These wines sell out on release. It’s no wonder the wines like Davide ooze passion!
You can find more information on Dirupi on their website at https://www.dirupi.com/
They are distributed in the US by T. Edwards Wines
They are available on Wine.com. (You will find links to Wine.com here on our site. If you use the link here on our website, we may receive a small commission, which helps to keep our site going.)
For more on the Valtellina region, visit the Consorzio site at Vini di Valtellina
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine and WSET 3 Certified. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.
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